BEAUFORT — Carteret County commissioners have declared a state of emergency in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
The proclamation came Thursday and followed suit with other state and local government declarations.
In a release announcing the state of emergency, County Manager Tommy Burns “discouraged” travel to the coast to help prevent the spread of the respiratory illness.
“Based on the recommendations, the County discourages travel to the coast at this time to reduce the possible community spread of COVID-19,” he stated. “Our County Government, municipalities and community businesses are working diligently to maintain resources for the health and everyday provisions of permanent residents.”
The resolution does not seem to go so far as to ban visitors, as several other areas have done in recent days, including Dare County, which has restricted access to visitors, and Ocracoke Island in Hyde County.
“In an effort to curb the spread of disease as well as not overwhelm our local medical providers and facilities, we are discouraging entry into our County by those who are not residents and property owners of the County,” the commissioners said in the proclamation. “While we realize that this decision comes with tremendous impacts and restrictions, we feel that discouraging travel to our County at this time is in the best interest of public safety.”
The County asks residents to continue to follow the recommendations of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the NC Department of Health and Human Services, including:
- Reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission by practicing social distancing measures.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
- Individuals who are sick should always cover their coughs and sneezes using a tissue or the crook of their elbow.
- Individuals who are sick should stay home.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
For more information on COVID-19, including symptoms and treatment, call the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services at 866-462-3821, the Coronavirus Response in North Carolina website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus or the CDC website at coronavirus.gov.